Genesis 45: 1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11: 1-2a & 29-32
Gospel: Matthew 15: 21-28
“Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me….” Most of us know that song well. For many of us it describes the Jesus of our childhood, the Jesus of our growing up. It’s simple. It’s easy. It conjures up images of a sentimental faith and a sweet, cuddly Jesus. Those are images many still cling to. That’s how we want the world to be, the way we want to live, and who we want Jesus to be. The problem is that that kind of faith encourages a naiveté about God, life, and the world. Listen to our politicians. Calculate the cost of our wars. Study history. Walk amongst those who frequent food banks. Talk with a cancer patient, their surviving spouse, or the alcoholic struggling to get well. Balance the family budget, work full time, raise your children, be faithful in your marriage, practice social distancing, and while you are at it remember to eat well and exercise. We all know what it’s like. We’ve each got our own story. We need a faith that can carry us through this life. Too often a sentimental faith becomes cynicism and causes us to turn away from our difficulties, or leaves us feeling paralyzed. Life is neither simple nor easy. So why should we settle for a faith that is? Read today’s Gospel and ponder on these questions.
This new local lockdown
So now we are into our second week of this new local lockdown and although it might seem to you that nothing has changed, I would tend to question that. St Mary’s is ready to open, and has been now for at least two weeks. This state of readiness brings with it great anticipation and apprehension. Great anticipation, because it has been so long since we have gathered together in person to pray and worship God. Apprehension, because we will gather under very different circumstances than previously. It also brings excitement and sadness. Excitement, because we will be able to meet each other again, albeit in limited numbers, to catch up on the last, nearly five months. Sadness, as we remember the many thousands of people who have suffered and died as a result of the Corona Virus. When the time comes to re-open, we shall all no doubt, experience very distinct emotions, and with these emotions comes a strength and power that can barely be explained. But be assured, the power of the Holy Spirit is just like this. It will give us support and it will give us the determination to work together as one in our outreach as we invite the world to join us in worship.
The events of last week in Aberdeenshire
The events of last week in Aberdeenshire have been extremely distressing. The train accident near Stonehaven at the beginning of last week was so sad. The loss of three lives and several others sustaining injuries was difficult to comprehend. We offer our prayers to those who at this time are mourning and for those who will bear the scars of this accident for many years to come. We are thankful for all of our emergency services who attended the scene, in what were difficult and dangerous circumstances.
Our ‘Zoom Brunch’ continues at 12.30pm every Sunday and it would be lovely to see those, who haven’t yet joined us, for a catch up. I fully understand that not everyone has broadband or even a computer, and I have been calling around again by telephone this week to see if everyone is ok. I tend not to call those whom I have spoken with on Zoom or during meetings, but concentrate more on those with whom I see or hear very little of during the current pandemic. If you would like the link to our Zoom Bruch, please get in touch on either of the details below and I can send you the necessary information required.
Phase Three – ‘Emerging from Lockdown’
Rather than outline all of the new amendment of Phase Three – ‘Emerging from Lockdown’, I will forward the email I received yesterday from the Province in order that you can read it at your leisure. The most significant aspect of this revised document is the mandatory wearing of facemasks in places of worship. I would commend this document to your earliest attention as it contains all of the important information we require as we progress during this difficult time.
Since last Sunday the following people have been remembered:
- 10th Aug- Laurence – Deacon and Martyr – 258.
- 11th Aug- Clare of Assisi, founder of the Poor Clares, 1253, and John Henry Newman – Priest 1890.
- 13th Aug- Jeremy Taylor, Bishop and Teacher of the Faith, 1667 and Florence Nightingale – Nurse and Social Reformer 1910.
- 14th Aug- Maximilian Kolbe – Friar and Martyr, 1941.
- 15th Aug- The Blessed Virgin Mary.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing
once again into our doors.
(Northumbria Community Celtic Prayer)
Fr Terry Taggart